Date: Thursday, 26 March 2020
Venue: This seminar will take place ONLINE via Zoom. Please join via the following link: https://uws.zoom.us/j/324554331
A Cultural Justice Approach to Heritage: Preservation, Storytelling and Activism in Community-Based Heritage Initiatives
Presenter:Dr Zelmarie Cantillon
Discussant: Dr Hayley Saul
Considerations of social justice are increasingly common in critical heritage studies. There is a dearth of research, however, that engages with the concept of cultural justice in relation to heritage. According to Ross (1998, 2), cultural justice refers to ‘doing justice to culture, pursuing justice through cultural means, and seeking justice for cultural claims’. Much like social justice, cultural justice is concerned with issues of power and inequalities, but is specifically attentive to the cultural fabric of communities – to cultural forms, expressions, narratives and institutions. This paper explores the conceptual contours of cultural justice and how it can be used as a lens through which to analyse heritage. Using the case study of community-based heritage initiatives focused on popular music’s past in three deindustrialising cities – Wollongong, Australia; Birmingham, UK; and Detroit, USA – the paper considers how cultural justice manifests in relation to heritage practices. Drawing on Banerjee and Steinberg’s (2015) work on the role of cultural narratives in environmental justice movements, the paper discusses how cultural justice outcomes can be sought through preservation, storytelling and community mobilisation.
Zelmarie Cantillon is a Vice-Chancellor’s Research Fellow in the Institute for Culture and Society, Western Sydney University. Her research focuses on the intersections between spatiality, heritage, cultural policy and tourism. She is author of Resort Spatiality: Reimagining Sites of Mass Tourism (Routledge, 2019) and co-editor of The Routledge Companion to Popular Music History (Routledge, 2018) and Remembering Popular Music’s Past: Memory–Heritage–History (Anthem Press, 2019).